Citizen Airmen: A closer look

  • Published
  • 944th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Citizen Airman- Master Sgt. Bradley Thomas, 944th Fighter Wing weapons safety manager.

Total time in the military: 24 years

How long have you been with the 944th Fighter Wing? I first started at the 944th in 2003 to 2006 and then came back in 2013.

How long have you been at your civilian job? I’ve been with Lufthansa since 2010.

What do you do outside of the military? I am an FAA certified Airframe and Powerplant mechanic. We inspect, repair, and maintain Cirrus Sr20, Bonanza F33, and Grob G120 aircraft for the students at Lufthansa Aviation Training Goodyear and the German Air Force.

How does your civilian career compare to your military career? In the Air Force, I am a weapons safety manager which means paperwork, filing, and documentation of weapons safety programs i.e. explosive ordinance disposal, security forces, egress, munitions, and weapons Loading F-35, F-16, A-10, F-15. As a civilian aircraft mechanic I am able to see the working and hands-on side of safety from the perspective of someone whose actions directly impact the mission of training people to fly.

What advice do you have for young Airmen who want to join the Air Force Reserve, specifically in the career field you are in? Look to your future when you will eventually leave the military. Get all the training, degrees, and certifications you can get before your enlistment ends. The military is just the start of lifelong training. Take care of your knees and back.

For the Airmen in maintenance, get your Airframe and Powerplant Certification before you leave the military if you want to stay in aviation. You will need it when you get out..